Archive for the 'Soccer' Category

Maybe next time?

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

The US men’s soccer team lost 2-1 Ghana the other day.

That’s it, the end of this World Cup for the US. This sucks. Though most commentators outside the States gave us little chance of advancing out of our group, I and many others here had hope. We had a very strong run four years ago in Korea and Japan. There was no reason to think that we couldn’t build on that momentum. But, alas, this has been a down year for us.

It seems there’s a pattern emerging here.

In 1994, when we were hosting the Cup, we advanced out of our group with a very good showing. Sure, it helps to play at home, but advancing for the first time in 50 years is still significant. In the second round, we played Brazil, the eventual champions to a 1-0 result (on July 4, nonetheless). I was more than happy with the progress.

In 1998, we qualified for the Cup in France, but didn’t show so well. We lost all three matches to Germany, Iran and Yugoslavia. We went in with some risky strategies and players and it ended in disaster.

In 2002, we once again qualified, this time to go to Korea and Japan. There’s little bad to say about our showing there- we advanced out of our group with a stunning win over Portugal (one of the favorites), a tie with host South Korea and a loss to Poland. We went on to the second round to face Mexico, one of our biggest (only?) rivals. We won this match decisively, only to lose to Germany in the quarter-finals. Overall, a good showing for the US.

So, what’s the pattern? We can’t play in Europe. We’ve played well at home and in Asia, but we can’t go up against European teams in Europe.

Luckily the next Cup is not in Europe, its in Africa (for the first time). Hopefully that fact will help us out next time, but we need more than that to make it into the top flight of soccer playing nations- we need time, and we might need a new national team coach.

USMNT, Germany 2006

Monday, September 5th, 2005

For those who don’t know, the US Men’s National soccer Team (MNT) qualified for next year’s World Cup in Germany on Saturday.

Way to go guys!

Now I just need to find a way to make it to Germany next summer.

Wizards lose to Earthquakes

Sunday, April 24th, 2005

I went to see my Kansas City Wizards play against the San Jose Earthquakes. The game was pretty exciting and we had a pretty good view of it from the fourth row.

We (KC) started out strong, scoring in the 5th minute and dominating possession for the first 20 or so minutes. However, the Wizards couldn’t continue to dominiate as the Earthquakes attack successfully to go up 2-1. The Wizards scored again before half to make the halftime score 2-2.

The Earthquakes scored again in the second half, putting the result at 3-2. The Wizards only hope in the second half was a penalty kick taken by Josh Wolff which was blocked by Pat Onstead.

I think the Wizards weakness is lack of a good attacking central midfielder. Our two central midfielders, Diego Gutierrez and Kerry Zavagnin are both more defensive and possession minded, leaving the attack to our strickers and wingers. Tonight we had some great play up top from Wolff, Sealey and Arnaud and on the wings from Klein, Victorine, Jewsbury and Zotinca, but they are lacking support from an attacking midfielder who could tie them all together. Many times, the ball was played from our backs up to Wolff, who was able to hold the ball with his back to goal but was not given an options to play the ball off to attacking midfielders.

I guess we’re missing Preki.

IU wins NCAA soccer tournament

Sunday, December 12th, 2004

The University of Indiana just won the NCAA Div 1 men’s soccer title 1-1 (3-2 on PKs) over the University of California- Santa Barbara.

For UCSB, that’s the worst way to lose and, of course, this isn’t the first soccer championship to be won on penalty kicks, but in my mind, penalty kicks are the most un-soccer-like way to break a tie. The only other viable option would be replays, but that’s not likely to happen in today’s world of TV broadcasts.

Oh yeah, and according to my mother, a PK shootout is rough on the players’ mothers, too.